A year ago, Amazon signed a deal with toy giant Mattel to produce four live-action specials based on the popular American Girl line of dolls and books. Two of those specials aired this past fall, and now the the third is on the horizon and just cast one of its leads. Gwendoline Yeo, best known from American Crime and Grey’s Anatomy, is set to star in An American Girl Story — Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance. Yeesh, that title’s got so much punctuation it could be a Star Wars prequel.
This third American Girl Amazon special is, as the title suggests, set in 1976 — specifically 1976 San Francisco. Deadline reports that Yeo will star as Marilyn Lin, a first-generation Chinese-American raising three children while trying to find a balance between American culture and her family’s traditions. That causes conflict between Marilyn and her daughter, Ivy, who idolizes her all-American best friend, Julie. It all comes to a head when Ivy has to choose between her gymnastics tournament and her family’s Chinese New Year dinner. I’m betting everyone involved learns some important lessons, but that’s just a shot in the dark.
Ivy & Julie 1976 is being written by May Chan, a veteran writer of several children’s TV shows including Voltron and Avatar: The Last Airbender. The special doesn’t have an official release date lined up yet.
In the meantime, the first two American Girl specials are available streaming for Amazon Prime customers. An American Girl Story — Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win released this past October and starred Black-ish‘s Marsai Martin. November then readied American Girl fans for the holidays with An American Girl Story — Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas. Once Ivy & Julie 1976 hits, there’s still one more American Girl special in the pipeline. Amazon also has an option to produce episodic content under the American Girl banner, so there definitely could be more American Girl in Amazon’s future.